I will be the first to admit, I have a love/hate appreciation for Kid Rock. Hell, I own Devil Without A Cause, and yes I happen to like the album. However, other albums are questionable. Gerard at Unreality Music thinks it might be “blasphemous” that Kid Rock is using music from Lynyrd Skynyrd in his new tune All Summer Long. I can’t help being a bit of a devil’s advocate. Let’s think about this for moment. First off, Kid Rock isn’t a straight-up rocker. Nor is Kid Rock strictly a hip hop artist either. Kid Rock is a really a mixture of both, he’s a “hip hop rocker.” Or, something like that.
Based on my knowledge of hip hop, which is very limited I admit, it is very common to take previously written music and retool themes and melodies into something fresh and new. If that is the case, then why shouldn’t Rock be able to use a classic song and make his own? Granted, Skynyrd is a classic rock band, but no music or “legend” is untouchable from inspiring new works or songs. I would argue quite the opposite. Great music inspires.
Isn’t it possible that Rock is using Skynyrd’s tunes to pay homage to the band? Couldn’t Rock have simply been inspired by a band he admires, and came up with an idea for a new song? Music is about self expression after all. Why not use previously written music to write something new and refreshing? There are many variables and possibilities.
Musicians have been borrowing and manipulating other people’s music for centuries. Here are a few examples that come to mind. Nicolò Paganini wrote 24 Caprices for solo violin in the early 1800s. The theme from Paganini’s 24th caprice is one of the most famous themes ever written. Other composers have incorporated Paganini’s 24th Caprice theme creating amazing new works such as Johannes Brahms’ Variations on a Theme of Paganini and Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on theme of Paganini. Other artists have simply re-imagined works such as when Miles Davis jazzified the Concierto de Aranjuez by Joaquin Rodrigo (the most popular classical guitar concerto) Or, what about when Puff Daddy/Diddy (or whatever the hell calls himself these days) borrowed music from Led Zeppelin and The Police?
The point is that music inspires more music. It has happened for centuries, and it will continue to happen. Like it or not, Kid Rock did nothing wrong in using Lynryd Skynyrd’s music, even if his new song is less than desirable.